July 11, 2020

What are some of the lesser known facts about Kumbh Mela in India?- iTravel

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by Deepak Mehta

Ardh Kumbh Mela Dates 2019 (Allahabad) – Main Bathing (Snan) Dates

The Kumbh Mela to be held in Allahabad (Prayag) in the year 2019 from 15th of January till 4th of March. Below is a table mentioning the important dates of Ardh Kumbh Mela 2019:

Date (2019) Day Event
15th January Tuesday Makar Sankranti (1St shahi Snan)
21st January Monday Paush Purnima
4th February Monday Mauni Amavasya (Main Royal Bath 2nd Shahi Snan)
10th February Sunday Basant Panchami (3rd shahi Snan)
19th February Tuesday Maghi Poornima
4th March Monday Maha Shivratri


Kumbh Mela is organized every three years (and not 12, as believed) on a rotation basis of Prayag (Allahabad), Nashik , Haridwar and Ujjain.

  • Kumbha Mela: Held at all the four places
  • Ardha Kumbha Mela: Held at Haridwar and Prayag (Allahabad), every six year
  • Purna Kumbha Mela: Only at Prayag, every 12 years
  • Maha Kumbha Mela: Only at Prayag, every 144 year

Kumbh Mela is celebrated at different locations depending on the position of the planet of Bṛhaspati (Jupiter) and the sun.

  1. Jupiter and Sun both in Leo –  Nashik
  2. Sun in Aries – Haridwar
  3. Jupiter in Taurus and Sun in Capricorn – Prayag
  4. Jupiter and Sun both in Scorpio – Ujjain

The charter myth of the Kumbh Mela—attributed to the Puranas (collections of myth and legend) but not found in any of them—recounts how the gods and demons fought over the pot (kumbha) ofamrita, the elixir of immortality produced by their joint churning of the milky ocean. During the struggle, drops of the elixir fell on the Mela’s four earthly sites, and the rivers are believed to turn back into that primordial nectar at the climactic moment of each Mela, giving pilgrims the chance to bathe in the essence of purity, auspiciousness, and immortality.

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Some other facts are:

  1. The Ganges and Yamuna rivers physically meet at the Sangam in Allahabad, but Hindus believe that a third mystical river, the Sarasvati, joins them there as well.
  2. The first documented account of the Kumbh Mela was record by a Chinese traveler Huan Tsang who visited India in 629 -645 CE. The festival is over 2,000 years old.
  3. To care for the 100 million Hindus expected to make the pilgrimage, the BBC reports that officials have set up 14 temporary hospitals, staffed with 243 doctors, more than 40,000 toilets and 50,000 police officers.
  4. In 2001, more than 40 million people gathered at the Sangam on the festival’s busiest day!
  5. 100 million people are estimated to participate in the 2013 Mela
  6. Kumbh Nagri in Prayag (epicenter of the Mela) is spread over 58.03 square km
  7. Total amount of business expected to be done due to Kumbh Mela is 12,000 crore rupees (120 billion rupees)
  8. Jobs created direct and indirect during Kumbh Mela – 650,00
  9. Law and Order
    30,000 policemen are on duty during the period.
    There are 30 police stations.
    45 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Kumbh Nagri
    120 CCTV cameras in Allahabad City
  10. Fire department
    30 fire stations.
    Multi-purpose vehicle with gadgets that can evacuate people trapped in debris
    In case of a power failure – fire department can light up an area the size of a football field in around 24 minutes.
  11. Electricity
    800 km of electric wires.
    48 power substations.
  12. Water
    571 km of water pipe line.
    2,200 fire hydrants.
    40 water tanks of 18 kilolitres.
  13. Sanitation
    300 km of kuchcha drainage
    35,000 toilet seats
    1,000 sanitation and health workers (including doctors).
  14. Hospitals
    A 100-bed central hospital in Kumbh Nagri
    10 sector hospitals of 20 beds each
    Two infectious diseases hospitals of 20 beds each
    A 30-bedded police hospital.
    20 first-aid posts
    Over 100 ambulances on holy days
    Water Ambulances – that ply on river.
  15. Railway – Trains
    750 mela special trains would run during Kumbh Mela.
    800 railway coaches have been especially allocated in current trains for Mela.
  16. Post office 
    10 post office in Kumbha Nagri
    Four mobile post offices
    14 letter boxes
    52 postal officials in Kumbh Nagri
    Special Kumbh Mela Covers
  17. Roads
    56.20 kilometres of temporary road has been constructed
  18. Bridges
    18 pontoon bridges
  19. Food
    25,800 metric tonne of food grain will be distributed.
    125 food shops – public distribution system
    150 milk distribution points
  20. Parking 
    12 parking slots to accommodate around 70,000 vehicles in the Kumbh area
    36 parking slots across Allahabad city to accommodate 162,000 vehicles

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